Discourses that transient into broken bridges for student teachers on teaching practice : a case of primary and secondary schools in Masvingo Province

23 Mar 2021

Building bridges for student teachers is the fountain and link-pin to moulding effective teachers in any system of education. This study seeks to highlight challenges faced by student teachers in primary and secondary schools in Masvingo Province. The study adopted a post-positivist approach rooted in the interpretive philosophy and employed the qualitative research methodology. The population for the study were 250 student teachers who had gathered at a teaching practice workshop at Masvingo Regional Campus. Convenience sampling technique was employed to select information rich participants who were asked to write down narratives on challenges they faced during teaching practice. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were employed as data generation tools as well. The major findings of the study were that student teachers had several challenges rooted in mentoring, pedagogical, time constraints, implementing updated curriculum with the new learning areas, disciplinary issues, lack of textbooks, overloaded lasses and teaching periods, supervisor related issues, among others. The study concludes that student teachers find it a rocky road to effectively practice in the absence of a supportive environment. The study recommends that schools should attach student teachers to competent and qualified mentors. Universities and schools should work hand in glove and come up with several seminars and workshops for student teachers so that their practice is made rich. Key terms: teaching practice; student teachers; discourses; broken bridges